Prospective teachers' beliefs about students' goal orientations: A carry-over effect of prior schooling experiences?

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9 Scopus citations


This study examined the relationship between prospective teachers' (N = 166) retrospective perceptions of their own past achievement goals and their current beliefs about students' goal orientations and achievement behaviors. Results of hierarchical regression analysis provide correlation evidence in support of a "carry-over effect" of prospective teachers' past goal orientations on their current beliefs about students. Specifically, prospective teachers' were found to believe that their future students will pursue goal orientations analogous to their own past goal orientations. In addition, prospective teachers' explanations for why students might engage in or avoid achievement-directed behaviors were examined. Regardless of past goal orientation, "internal motives" (e.g., improvement and self-satisfaction) represented the most frequent explanation offered by prospective teachers for why students engage in achievement behaviors. Prospective teachers with past performance-approach goals were significantly more likely to view avoidance as a sign of "laziness," whereas those with past performance-avoidant goals were more likely to view avoidance as resulting from a "lack of confidence and support." Implications for subsequent research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-191
Number of pages21
JournalSocial Psychology of Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Achievement motivation
  • Teacher beliefs
  • Teacher development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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